DIY pumpkins

Halloween is just a week away!  Fall is my favorite season and about a decade ago, Halloween was my favorite holiday.  Although celebrating Halloween has slipped from my radar, fall decor has not!  Earlier this season Ryan and I made pumpkins out of materials we already had on hand.  They are a bit abstract but they were fun to make none the less.  Check them out…

crafty DIY pumpkins-4897

Ryan cut a few logs to create wood slice pumpkins. Using a drill press, he made a hole in the top to insert the branch stem.  So rustic!

wood slice pumpkin-

I put a monochromatic spin on the popular fabric pumpkin by using just burlap and jute twine.  You’ll never guess what I stuffed the pumpkin with…shipping peanuts!  The shapes on these guys greatly varied just like in nature…

Burlap Pumpkin

In addition to DIYing pumpkins, we’ve been working with real ones as well – mostly in the kitchen.  This season we’ve enjoyed spiced pumpkin bread, pumpkin pizza and pumpkin pizelles. Yum!

What pumpkin inspired crafts & treats have you made?

DIY pumpkins-4900

spiced pumpkin bread

For as many years as I can remember, I have been making my tried and true pumpkin shortbread.  I wish I could remember the original source for this recipe but it has been so long.  I particularly love it because a.) it is so tasty and b.) it yields 3 loaves.  One for us, one to gift and one to freeze for later.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This year though I tweaked my recipe to make it just a little bit healthier or “cleaner” as we are on a quest to eat fewer processed foods.  I started with subbing white flour for whole wheat flour and refined sugar for raw sugar.

It is also the first time I made it with actual pumpkin versus the canned stuff.  In fact, I plucked this one right from my porch.  Yum, so much tastier with the real thing!

natural fall vignette

I’d love to try tweaking the recipe even further by substituting the vegetable oil for perhaps more pumpkin puree.  I think some of the sugar could possibly be substituted for apple sauce too based on what I’ve read.

But anyway, here’s the recipe as it stands today, just a little bit “cleaner” or less processed.

15 ounces real pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups raw sugar
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.

Remove the skin of a small pumpkin.  Cut in chunks and boil until pumpkin is soft.  Puree in a blender or food processor.

spiced pumpkin bread

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread Recipe

The spiced pumpkin bread is perfect paired with a cup of coffee!

You’ll notice that I had a squash in my fall porch vignette too.  It is also long gone because we ate it!  (So is that little zucchini.)

natural fall vignette

You may have caught a snippet on my instagram or facebook of the butternut squash & spinach lasagna that we had for dinner last week.  It was so good!  I followed the SkinnyTaste recipe posted here.  Delish!  However, I didn’t roll the noodles as recommended.

I would make this again for the creamy butternut squash sauce alone.  We used the extra for pasta a few nights later.

butternut squash lasagna

Looks like I need to redecorate since we ate most of my fall porch vignette.  What fall dishes are you cooking up?

P.S. This Sunday we’ll be at Clover Market with a truck full of vintage finds!  And next weekend I’ll be at Serendipity showing you how milk paint works.  Hope to see you soon!

MMS October flier

Sharing at the Pumpkin Parade!


Friends, it’s time!  Fall is officially here.  Yay!  I am ready to do some pumpkin picking and jack-o-lantern carving!  And I’m waiting for the leaves to change colors right before my eyes!  Yahoo!  How about you?

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon visiting several fab antique shops.  The trip to Western MD/Northern VA was somewhat spontaneous however I’ve long anticipated stepping foot in these shops…Chartreuse & Co., Sweet Clover and The Old Lucketts Store.  Sometimes you just need a good ol’ fashioned road trip!  My excursion has definitely given me the inspiration and kick in the pants I needed.

chartreuse & co.

I love this simple, spooky vignette at Lucketts…I might have to put something similar together.


I also had the pleasure of meeting Cassie at Sweet Clover.  What a doll!  I’ve been following her blog for years and feel like I know her life story so it was fun to meet her in person.  Plus, she and her partners curated a great barn sale full of vintage goodness.  Yes, I found some new treasures!  Bonus, Cassie schooled me on how to take a decent selfie…

sweet clover

Sometimes some new scenery is just the right dose of inspiration!  I’m headed to a milk paint workshop for the next two days.  I’m sure even more inspiration will strike.  Can’t wait to share.

With that said, let me share a few pumpkin projects today that may inspire you…

Stocking Pumpkin: Even easier than carving a pumpkin – just pop it into a fishnet or graphic stocking for instant spooktackular impact.


Safety in Numbers: There’s something so simply appealing about an abundance of mini pumpkins or gourds.  It looks great with reindeer moss, pinecones, acorns and other natural elements too.  Start filling a dough bowl or harvest basket!

mini pumpkins in abundance

Pumpkin Tea Lights: Easy!  Just carve out the top and pop a tea light candle in.

pumpkin tea light

Vomiting Pumpkin Salsa: So gross but so good!  Seriously, this carved pumpkin face makes such a conversation piece at a Halloween party.

jack-o-lantern salsa

If you missed it, check out my farmers market roundup for more simple, fall decor!  What’s inspiring you this fall?